How to Live a Healthy Lifestyle: 8 Pearls of Wisdom from Nurses

May 08, 2017 by Victoria Lim

They’re really the folks on the front lines of our healthcare. During this week, Nurses Week, as you show your appreciation for all they do, they continue to give back with ways to keep us healthy. Here are eight insights nurses and faculty from the Brandman University’s Marybelle and S. Paul Musco School of Nursing and Health Professions wish we knew about our own health:

Take control of your health

Patric Schine works with Brandman nursing students. “I wish people better understood their power over their own health. Sometimes they can get lost in a particular disease state or diagnosis and not be able to step back and direct their own outlooks and futures. But they do have full control over how they can approach any disparities.” – Dr. Patric Schine, DNP, FNP-BC, assistant professor, director FNP Program (left)

“Health is how the person defines it. Health encompasses body, mind and spirit. It is YOUR choice to be healthy.” – Rachel Choudhury, MSN, MS, RN, CNE, associate dean and program director, BSN

Be proactive, not passive

“I wish people knew that if they just took care of themselves with diet, exercise, and mental health that they would not have to spend so much time in the hospital! Some people’s health could improve so much with such little change. Nurses have the opportunity to see the progression of disease. Witnessing this has really allowed me to take a look at my own health and make necessary changes.” – ​​​Nikkelle Gallegos-Knight, DNP, APRN, FNP

“Ignoring your body's messages will not make them go away.“ –  Dr. Ruth Milstein, DNP, PMHNP-BC, LMHC, assistant professor/dissertation chair

Understand the many dimensions of health care

Ted Beissel meets with Brandman nursing students. “The importance of physical activity, a healthy body weight, controlling high blood pressure, managing diabetes, and getting screenings done.  Colonoscopies, mammograms, pap smears, and regular check-ups can save your life before an illness is life threatening!” – Don Beissel, DNP, RN, CRNA, DAAPM, assistant professor (right)

"I wish there was a broader understanding of how social determinants impact population health and ultimately all of us. For example, evidence demonstrates that people who have access to education have better health over their life span reducing health care costs for all of us. Education is prevention on many levels, including the prevention of health risks.” – Gail Petersen Hock, MS, RN, PHCNS-C, APHN-C, assistant professor

Don't skip routine care

“I wish people knew how important it is to get routine care and testing from their primary care provider. There can be many diseases that could be avoided if symptoms were caught early, and it’s easier to treat illnesses such as hypertension if treated early.” – Christine Williamitis, DNP, RN, ACNP-BC, FNP-BC, PMHNP-BC, assistant professor

“People think it’s 'normal' to be tired, stressed, and burned out. It’s time to take back our health and create a new normal. Health is multi-dimensional. It’s about taking care of the physical body, and it’s also about taking care of the mind and the spirit. Optimal health begins with prevention and lifestyle, especially managing stress, eating right, and getting exercise, sleep, and play time. These are things we tend to ignore in our busy lives, but they are the foundations that impact total health. Small changes make a big difference. It’s doable, and help is out there. Just ask a nurse!” –  Sonia Luckey, DNP, MA, APRN, FNP-C, AHN-C, adjunct faculty

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